Thread Theory

Welcome to the new era of menswear sewing. Go ahead and create something exceptional!


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Summer Days around the “Farm”

I wonder when I will feel comfortable calling our property a farm without giggling or adding quotations…One day I would love to refer to it as our homestead or farm without feeling like we are playing house but we aren’t there yet! In the meantime, playing house is a lot of fun!

July has brought us one step closer to my schemes and dreams of a bustling homestead though – our chickens have graduated from their brooder in our bathroom to free ranging and coop life! They are very obviously pleased with their new home, I was quite surprised by how obvious their happiness was when they moved in. They scampered, hopped and flapped their wings joyously the moment they entered the spacious coop and haven’t slowed their playful antics since!

Now that the chickens are running around our property I can’t wait to add more animals! I like listening to their chirps and awkward teenage voices crackling as Noah and I water the garden. So far I adore the routines created by caring for them. They won’t be laying until the Fall but just letting them in and out of the coop and checking their water is a very grounding and peaceful routine already. I wonder if I’ll feel the same way on cold and wet winter mornings? I think so…but you never know! Next spring we hope to add goats or a pig to our menagerie but I’ll try my best to hold off until then so that we can get used to raising chickens first and make sure we enjoy all aspects.

Aside from fixing up our coop for the chickens and enjoying their antics, July has been a busy month of visitors both two and four legged. It would seem our spacious property has resulted in us becoming the official dog-sitters for my family now, and our pup, Luki is quite pleased about that.

We’ve looked after my sister’s sweet dog (Luki’s one true love ) several times this June and July and now we are looking after my parent’s dog while they travel around Ireland for a month. Noah squeals with delight each time one of our visitors heads in his direction. He loves dogs!

We’ve also had quite a few overnight visits from Noah’s grandparents. Matt’s mom and dad keep spoiling us by bringing dinner ingredients and cooking for us which is such a treat!

We had a lovely time with my great aunts who came all the way from England. They cheered Noah on as he spent his first morning playing on the beach in the sand and grinning like mad as he went down the slide.

As you can see in the photo above, Noah was so comfortable and relaxed with his Great Great Auntie Edina!

I look forward to they day when our property will be a little more polished and set up for weekend visitors. I have dreams of running a small guest house and farm stand one day, but in the meantime, family and friends have been enjoying the fire pit that Matt and my sister built and our picnic table.

One day a flower garden, lounging area and a pond will add to our guest’s comfort. I love daydreaming about big landscaping plans as an occasional restful treat while Noah naps.

Right now guests just expect that relaxing will wait for later and seem glad to be put to work on whatever project we are currently focussed on!

Each visit my mom and dad arrive just fit to burst with excitement and energy to tackle the next big project. My Dad worked so hard in the scorching sun earlier this month to replace the workshop roof with Matt.

My garden, as I mentioned last homestead update, isn’t especially productive, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so since we had little to no time to prep beds when we moved in the spring.

I’ve laid out huge tarps in the main field and hope, once they’ve solarized (used the heat of the sun to kill the grass and weeds), I can lift them and plant a cover crop this Fall. In the spring I can turn the cover crop under with the help of the chickens and a tiller so that it will be ready for my first big vegetable garden. Once we have a pig and goats, I think they’ll be able to replace the work of the tiller each spring. I’m new to gardening out of raised beds though, so please give me your two cents if you have experience with a big victory garden style veggie plot!

Our computer broke earlier this week which just about had me selling Thread Theory (I’m joking but only just) because we thought we lost the only file that wasn’t backed up: The nearly completed instructions and pattern for our upcoming bag pattern release! When the computer died it seemed upon first inspection that our dual hard drives had not been backing files up as intended…well, two very long days of tinkering later, Matt saved Thread Theory and my sanity by not only fixing the computer but also saving the pattern and all of my hard work! So, if all goes well, the pattern will be headed to test sewers by the end of the day or perhaps by the end of the weekend. It’s very close! And, needless to say, Matt has added one more back up system so that this won’t be happening again. Phew…

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The workshop of Wray Parsons

Matt recently went to visit local woodworker, Wray Parsons, and picked up our latest order of beautiful lathe-turned sewing tools.

With our recent move we live even closer to Wray so it seemed like a great opportunity to forgo mailing the order and instead have a tour of his workspace and a chat.

Wray kindly agreed to me sharing photos of his workshop on the blog as I thought you might like to take a peek as well!

It is amazing to see the large size of the tools used to make Wray’s remarkably small and precise wooden tools. In the background of the photo above you can see his lathe used for turning the wood into it’s final shape, below you can see the jointer and planer used to create his blanks (the rectangles of wood ready to be turned).

He also has a bandsaw (below) to process material and cut intricate shapes. Beside the saw you can see an example of one the the burls that he works with.

All of these tools and a lot of skill and time go into making his precisely crafted wooden tools.

He uses a set of specialty chisels imported from England to create the smoothly functioning threads on his acorn thimble case.

His wood storage appeals to me:

His projects are so miniature and his woods is so precious that even the tiniest piece (what most woodworking shops would view as scrap) is carefully stored for a future project.

Wray’s wife has a long history of needle work so he consulted her for his original line of tools and frequently consults the shops who stock his tools when designing a new tools.

He’s also greatly inspired by historical needlework tools, his acorn tape measure (pictured above) and thimble case are modeled after the silver acorn thimble cases found in Victorian sewing boxes. The stem on the acorn twists to roll the tape back up! His soldier’s friends (pictured below) are modeled after wartime sewing kits that soldiers kept handy to mend their uniforms.

Whenever he sources blades, scissors or stuffing to complete his tools, he finds the best quality: His seam ripper blades are very hard and sharp Japanese steel, his thread snips are Italian, and the pin cushions are stuffed with local sheep’s wool to coat your pins in rust preventing lanolin.

Wray also showed Matt the heated greenhouse that he built for himself.

It has a coal fired stove inside the timber and glass structure which allows Wray to grow tomatoes well into the winter.

The raised beds are very substantial and you can see that his heating and watering set up is finely tuned. The greenhouse is so large he even grows fruit trees within it!

What an inspiration for our future greenhouse! We are a long ways off from having something so substantial but I can certainly dream!

Anyhow, back to his woodworking: In our latest order we added some darning mushrooms which we have not stocked for some time. I’m trying to focus on sewing related tools (and used to include these mushrooms in the knitting section of our shop) but they are too beautiful, useful and aligned with the growing movement of mending instead of buying new…they simply make sense to have in one’s sewing kit!

Well, I hope you found this peek at Wray’s workshop and tour of Wray’s tools intriguing! Noah and I plan to pick up our next delivery so I can have a closer look at that garden and greenhouse! Wray kindly sends us photos and updates by email quite often but it will be much nicer to chat in person regularly now we live so close.

View our selection of Wray’s sewing tools.


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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I hope your final days of 2018 have been restful, peaceful and were full of time to sew!  We are so grateful for the many sewists who sew their Christmas gifts using Thread Theory patterns and for the enthusiastic support that you show for our little business all year long!  Thank you!

This year has been filled with many highlights for both Thread Theory and Matt and I in our personal life.

We’ve launched four menswear patterns:

Patterns

From left to right: Quadra Jeans, Sayward Raglan, Eastwood Pajamas, Fulford Jeans

Our baby, Noah, was born:

Noah

And we’ve had the privilege to see our patterns sewn into many absolutely stunning garments!

Thread Theory Pattern makes

From left to right:

  1. Finlayson Sweater sewn by Jocelyn Buggie for her brother’s Christmas gift and shared on the Thread Theory Sewing Community Facebook page.
  2. Another Finlayson sewn by Kayla Kissane for her uncle as a Christmas gift and shared on the Facebook community page.
  3. A paisley Fairfield Button-up sewn by James Nacy and shared on the Facebook page – he altered the collar to become a large 70’s style one to suit his fabric choice.
  4. A Goldstream Peacoat sewn by Léa Provost for her father’s Christmas gift and shared via email.

Matt and I are so excited for the coming year.  We have a nice collection of patterns already drafted so that I can delve into instruction writing once little Noah and I have settled into a routine (we are getting close…as you can probably tell because I’ve actually managed to write a couple of blog posts lately!).  Since last year’s wallet patterns were such a success, the first pattern on my list to write instructions for is a bag.  Instead of a quick bag making project (as our wallets are), this is an involved project which is a lot of fun to sew!  I look forward to sharing the MANY features with you when the pattern is ready!

The rest of the waiting patterns are garments…but I won’t give away any hints about those yet 😀

Happy New Year!


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Welcome Baby Noah!

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I wasn’t sure I should post this on here but since I have so many family members following this blog, I have been receiving many enquiries as to whether I would introduce our new baby in a blog post!  I won’t be posting about him very often online (this blog is supposed to be about menswear sewing after all), but here is one of what I’m sure will be the occasional exception!  This is Noah, our baby boy, who arrived on October 19th.  He’s filled Matt and I with endless love!  We have been pleased to be surrounded by helpful and loving family who obviously feel the same way that we do about our little baby.

Noah (11)

To honour all the love our family has already given to Noah, this post is sort of a ‘handmade where’s Waldo’…can you spot the lovingly handmade items in each of these photos? As sort of a game I will refrain from telling you about the items within this post but will add a comment with the answers so you can check them out once you’ve had a chance to guess!

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As you can imagine, we are fairly busy with our new baby right now but Matt has been a super-dad so far and has been managing to feed me (while I feed Noah) and provide all of the customer service for Thread Theory.  If you have sent us an email lately or made an order that required shipping, it is likely Matt who you have been in touch with.  I’m grabbing the occasional 10 minutes of Thread Theory time here and there but am more or less on maternity leave at the moment (our jeans sew-along posts were pre-scheduled…don’t worry, I wasn’t sewing jeans while in the hospital!).  I hope to phase back in to accomplishing more Thread Theory work over the next couple of months as I am very excited to dive into the instructions for our next pattern.  The pattern is sitting on my shelf all drafted and ready to go and is proving to be a great incentive to get back to work once Noah and I have found our rhythm.

Until then, I look forward to connecting with you via the occasional blog post!  Happy sewing!


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Thank you for your help! (And here’s a discount code as way of thanks.)

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Thanks to everyone who submitted a comment on the last blog offering their sewing talents!  I’ve selected several test sewers who are busily working away on the new pattern right now.

Please don’t be discouraged if we didn’t select you to test this time!  We try to select a fresh variety of testers for each pattern so please apply next time if you are still interested!

To thank you for following the blog and for your enthusiasm each time I call for testers, here is a 15% off coupon code that you can use any time!  THANKSFORREADING  The code will never expire and will give you 15% off you entire order.  Head to our shop to use the code >

(In case you’re wondering, the above picture is of our cat, Jazzy, trying to commandeer the newly assembled crib as her own…don’t worry, we’ve since worked on some serious cat training and the crib now remains safely cat free!)


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What I’ve Been Making Lately

I think it’s high time for an update on what I’ve been working on outside the realm of Thread Theory lately!  I’ve been a bit quiet on this front for the last year because Matt and I were foster parents from August until the end of this June…this took up every ounce of energy we had and so we pared our lives down to Thread Theory and caring for the children exclusively.  Fostering also required that we keep our family life very private for the confidentiality of the children, hence why I haven’t mentioned this phase of our lives on the blog yet.

Now that the children have moved on to more permanent situations, we are delving into making things in a big way!  The biggest project I have in the works is this:

Thread Theory Baby Announcement-3

Our baby boy, due on October 10th!

Thus, my sewing projects in the last couple of weeks have been much smaller and cuter than what you might usually see on my sewing table.

Thread Theory Baby Announcement-1

Perhaps you recognise some of these fabrics from our shop in the past…what a great way to use up off cuts!  The patterns I’ve used for this cute little wardrobe are as follows:

Booties: Twig & Tale Animal Baby Shoes.  I highly recommend this pattern, it was so much fun to sew and the instructions were impeccably detailed.

Pants: Sew 4 Bub Grow With Me Pants. A free pattern!

Hats: How Does She? Knot Hard At All Hat.  An easy tutorial.

Scratch Mittens: 5 Little Monsters No Scratch Baby Mittens.  Another great tutorial.

Thread Theory Baby Announcement-2

Menswear sewing will recommence shortly since Matt really needs a new pair of shorts this summer.  I also hope to finish a fresh Goldstream Peacoat for him to wear this winter.  I’ve been sewing it very slowly and photographing the steps as I go to create a Goldstream Sew-along to launch this fall.


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Valentine’s Sale – 25% off PDFs

Menswear sewing patterns - jeans-3

Did you receive our newsletter last week with our Valentine’s Sale discount code?  Receive 25% off our PDF patterns until Feb. 14th when you use the code SEWFORLOVE.

Thank you for leaving over 100 comments on my last blog post about our upcoming pyjama pant pattern.  Your preferences included all of the options that I listed so I’ve decided to include variations for no fly, a mock fly and a button fly so as to please everyone!  After all, as many of you pointed out, what is stopping me from including them all?  I think that’s a good point because this will allow sewists to start with this pattern as their first garment project (by sewing the no fly variation) but then re-use the pattern over and over as they develop their skills (by progressing to the mock fly and finally the button fly).

And, to calm the fears of those who worried – there will be no zipper on the fly of these PJ pants!  That would be a tad strange!  The fly will be a single button fly as is commonly seen on sleepwear.

Since completing the first sample for our pyjama pant pattern I have sewn three more garments to determine the fit for our other upcoming patterns!  I’ve been at my machine sewing for hours every work day this week and it has been such a nice change from my usual work on the computer.  Here is a little peek at some of my work:

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Next week I will sew up the final (5th) design and then the patterns will be tweaked and graded.  Then it is back to the computer with a vengeance to develop the instruction booklets!

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Anyhow, thanks for your interest in our upcoming patterns and for your feedback about the pyjama pants!  I hope you enjoy our SEWFORLOVE sale and make something that your loved one wears proudly this Valentine’s Day.